Divers on a charter with Rendezvous Dive Adventures from Rainy Bay, B.C. encounter a giant ocean sunfish in the waters of Barkley Sound. VIDEO COURTESY PETER MIERAS

Divers encounter giant, weird-looking fish off Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Rendezvous Dive Adventures charter sees creature normally found in tropics

A group of scuba divers were exploring a section of Barkley Sound with Rendezvous Dive Adventures last week when they had a rare encounter with one of the strangest fish seen off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Peter Mieras, dive captain and owner of Rendezvous Dive Adventures, had a group of experienced divers in the water when he spotted the telltale dorsal fin of a mola mola.

A mola mola is also known as an ocean sunfish, and is an odd-looking bony fish weighing between 250 and 1,000 kilograms. The mola mola looks like it is swimming on its side.

Mola mola aren’t usual visitors to the waters off Vancouver Island. They are usually found in tropical or more temperate waters, and they feed off jellyfish.

Mieras said he usually sees them in Barkley Sound “only in summers when El Nino is on.

“I have seen three-foot to six-foot ones, which is usually the bigger side of the scale.”

The dive group Mieras was leading included experienced divers. They were getting ready to enter the water when they spotted the mola mola’s dorsal fin.

“The fish actually turned towards them and came to check them out,” Mieras said. The divers remained a respectful distance from the giant sunfish as Mieras instructed them to stay calm and give it lots of room.

Lee Critchley filmed the encounter underwater, while Mieras had a camera on his boat on the ocean’s surface. Mieras is known for his marine videos, several of which have been featured in film festivals and one that he created to accompany ‘Become Ocean,’ a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical score.

To watch some of Mieras’ videos, check out his YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/rendezvousdiving or www.subvisionproductions.com.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

Summerland music promoter wins national award

Paul Biro honoured at 2019 CCMA Awards in Calgary

Virtue, Moir stepping away but give fans in Okanagan a chance to see them skate

Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue will be performing on Oct. 6 at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Fill a bag and help those in the South Okanagan in need

The annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive takes place this week in Penticton and Summerland

Big vision for community garden in Penticton

Incredible Edibles Penticton have taken over the Shatford Centre space

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

WHL action returns to Okanagan, Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

Most Read